Former KIAH 39 chief meteorologist Keith Monahan is either making lots of news or none at all depending how you look at it.
It seems news about Monahan, who is now chief meteorologist at KARK in Little Rock, Arkansas, has been making the rounds on the Internet concerning an alleged fight he had with another station's meteorologist. It supposedly led to arrests.
The Rocky City Times reports:
Local Weathermen Jeff Baskin of Fox 16 and Keith Monahan of KARK were arrested along with several members of their news stations late last night after a fight broke out between the two outside of their studio on Capitol Ave.
Witnesses say the disagreement began during show prep for Baskin’s weather segment on the 9 o’clock newscast for Fox16. Monahan entered the weather center the two stations share while Baskin was reviewing his forecast and having mascara applied.
The story says thing allegedly escalated, the two fought, a riot broke up and there were arrests. READ THE REST
"Assure folks there was no fight and no arrests--just a fun story," Monahan told mikemcguff.com. "Jeff Baskin and I really do get along just fine and we've been laughing since yesterday at the story and how many people think it actually happened (we even played along by providing some photos after it got some traction). I mean really, 'meet me at the flagpole!' If folks just read the little disclaimers at the top and bottom of the page."
The story, which as I mentioned appeared on The Rocky City Times, is a big joke. The Rocky City Times website has a disclaimer at the bottom which says, "The content on here is presented as fictional news with an intent for humor."
Monahan says the article got so much attention that he heard it was even talked about on a morning radio show in New York City today. And since it's weather related, even made the discussion boards at weather.com! What would Jim Cantore think?
"Last January, Nexstar (editor's note: KARK's owners) bought the Fox [station] here and moved their operations into our building, we even share the studio, and I think the author was having fun with that," Monahan told me.
I don't know this Baskin guy, but if there were a fight, my money would be on Monahan. According to Monahan's bio:
A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Keith received a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in International Affairs and American Politics. By the time his service was up, Captain Monahan served as a Commanding Counterintelligence Officer and Commander of Investigative units.
"This particular story, like a lot of stories here, started with a very true premise," Greg Henderson, Editor-in-Chief at Rock City Times told mikemcguff.com. "Fox16 and KARK (the news stations) are owned by the same parent company and share a newsroom and a lot of the production crew. At the same time, like any news stations they compete for ratings against each other. So what if they had get mad and have an anchorman-style brawl? It sort of went from there."
Henderson tells me that his site is now one of the highest trafficked newsish sites in Arkansas.
* updated with Henderson's response